Alert: Delhi gasping for air, facing worst smog in 17 years
Delhi is facing the worst smog in 17 years, an environmental research institute based out of the national Capital, the Centre for Science and Environment, said on Thursday. Calling it a state of health emergency, the CSE has asked the Delhi government to issue health alerts and convey that children should stay indoors.
The CSE said according to the Indian Meteorological Department, the Indira Gandhi International Airport recorded the worst levels of smog in 17 years on November 2, with visibility as low as 300-400 metres. The data from the Delhi Pollution Control Committee shows the levels of PM2.5 have increased by 62.7 per cent on November 2 — 11.6 times the norm. On the night of November 1, PM2.5 concentration had hit 548 microgramme per cubic metre – 9 times the norm.
“This demands emergency response to protect the vulnerable – those who are suffering from respiratory and heart diseases and children,” said Anumita Roychowdhury, head of CSE’s air pollution and sustainable mobility teams.
The Centre for Science and Environment urged the AAP government to issue health alerts and put in place an effective winter pollution mitigation plan.
“Joint studies of Central Pollution Control Board and Chittaranjan National Cancer Research Institute in Kolkata have shown that every third child in Delhi has impaired lungs,” the green body said.
The Indian Meteorological Department had said that the Indira Gandhi International Airport recorded the worst levels of smog in 17 years on November 2. Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Tuesday had said the government would soon initiate measures to curb the rising pollution. However, the government did not specify any deadline for these measures.